It’s coming, folks.
Despite Boris’s promises to the contrary, it’s looking more and more likely that a No Deal Brexit is on the horizon. The EU does not appear willing to shift on the terms of their agreement, and both sides of the Irish divide are throwing something of a spanner in the works with their backstop protestations.
The Guardian has produced a report that states that the UK is ‘less able to cope’ with a No Deal result than we were months ago in the spring, and that there is a real risk of ‘panic buying and civil disorder’ due to the uncertainty.
And the Bank of England has claimed that that there is a 33% chance that the UK economy will fall into a recession by the first quarter of 2020 due to the financial confusion.
The government has pledged £2bn to help tackle the consequences, but they have been told countless times that that figure is likely to be a drop in the ocean.
So, like a Hollywood disaster movie, we should probably prepare for the worst. That doesn’t mean building a bomb shelter in your garden and buying your local Tesco Express out of bottled water and tinned peaches, but it does mean some considerations must be thought about.
Here are some ways that a No Deal Brexit could alter our everyday lives.
Your Food Shop Could Be More Expensive
More than a quarter of all food on supermarket shelves is imported from the EU.
Without a trade agreement, the cost of importing goods from the European Union could rise, and that means that a lot of foods and consumables will go up in price to cover it.
That includes fruit, vegetables and salad items, as well as a lot of alcohol brands!
The result is increased shopping bills, more scarce supplies on the shelves and the chance that fruit and veg will be imported from South America and Africa – making it much harder to keep them fresh and non-tainted.
Consumer Rights Changes
You may find yourself buying things from EU member countries – occasionally without even knowing about it.
Many eBay sellers and brands who operate via Amazon are based in the European Union, and purchasing goods from them could bring changes in a post-Brexit No Deal world.
There may be additional taxes added to your purchase, whether the item’s RRP or delivery costs, due to increases in import duty on things passing through the border.
Your consumer rights may be changed too, and so you must be even more diligent about refund policies, returns and things like that. Without unilateral consumer law, you could be up the creek without the proverbial if you want to send something back to the seller.
On a similar note, purchasing a package holiday from an EU firm could also create problems, so again do your homework and read those terms and conditions.
Travelling Abroad May Not Be So Easy
As a member of the EU, people from the UK had as much as nine months of validity on their passport added to a renewed passport.
But in a No Deal scenario is it being advised that you renew your passport even if it has six months still left to run.
If you plan on making a medium-term trip to an EU country (or Norway, Iceland or Switzerland) and staying for 90 days or more, you may now need to apply for a visa. This is applicable to tourists, those who are employed in an EU member nation and students planning on studying abroad.
However, rules regarding travel to the Republic of Ireland will not change even in a No Deal situation, with few restrictions applying.
Check Your Medicines
One of the most alarming takeaway points from a No Deal Brexit would be the cost and availability of many prescription and off-the-shelf medicines.
Much of the medicine we use in the UK is imported from the EU and the European Economic Area, and again there may be tariffs and extra taxes to pay – increasing prices.
But it’s availability that is an even bigger concern. The supply line between Calais and Dover could be hampered in a No Deal, and with 75% of all medicines flowing into the UK in this way – including essential painkillers and anti-depressants – fears are mounting.
Many common medicines have been stockpiled, and the government is considering building new ports to increase supply.
House Prices Could Be Affected
While leaving the EU won’t have a direct impact on the state of the UK housing market, financial uncertainty and diminished buyer confidence will.
Property price growth has been stagnant for over a year now, with buyers sitting tight and waiting to see how a No Deal scenario affects the economy.
Prices will fall as a result, so while buyers may be able to pick up a bargain the outlook for those wanting to sell could be bleak.